Do you want to know more about the sports of New Zealand before looking for the best sports betting odds, betting app deals, and signing up to get those free bookie bets? Or do you just want to get to know more about this country and its sports? In any case, the essential guide on the most popular sports in New Zealand will sure help you. 

New Zealand is a small country but has been successful in several sports, such as the rugby association (regarded as the national sport). Sports in New Zealand predominantly represent British colonial history and are played in the Commonwealth Countries. Some of the most popular sports are rugby, league rugby, cricket, soccer, and basketball.

Squash, golf, hockey, tennis, cycling, rowing, and various water sports are also popular activities, especially surfing and sailing. Indoor and outdoor bowls are also popular in winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding. Among a tiny fraction of the young people, there is skateboarding as well.

1. Rugby:

Rugby is New Zealand’s national sport. Their strong national rugby team nicknamed the Black Shave won the Global Cup three times (1987, 2011, 2015) which is more than any other world team. The first holders to successfully defend their championship won their third World Cup in England in 2015.

At the commencement of international matches, the All Blacks customarily play haka, a Māori challenge. Many other national teams, like the national rugby league and the basketball teams, have mimicked this technique.

2. Netball:

Netball is really derived from the first basketball versions of the late 19th century. In the world, Netball has more than 60 teams. Like basketball, players have to get the ball into the ring to score. The games are played on a rectangular court, with a ring at each end.

The player may only possess the ball three seconds before he passes. The game, although seemingly similar, is much different from basketball. It might also look slower, as players are only permitted to stay during the game in particular sections of the court. Games take just one hour and the most-goal team wins the game. Although the sport is attractive globally, it is not as popular in New Zealand as rugby and cricket.

3. Cricket:

In New Zealand, cricket is regarded as the national summer sport. There are several countries that like cricket and participate in something called cricket test matches. Cricket is a bat and ball game, which is played with two 11-player teams. Like baseball, players must hit the ball and try to score runs.

They take turns and each turn is called an input. The distinction is that the field is the middle of a 22-yard long pitch, rather than a baseball diamond. You ride to the other end of the pitch from the hitting area to score a run. It helps to monitor the practice and games so that the sport insides and outs are better understood, particularly because it might be perplexing how inputs are measured.

4. Basketball:

Since 2013, basketball remains to be the 3rd most popular sport after netball and the rugby union in secondary schools and has grown enormously in popularity. New Zealand is competing with its team, New Zealand Breakers, in the NBL (National Basketball League of Australia).

On the world scene, New Zealand, unfortunately, has not succeeded. In 2002, the Tall Blacks came 4th at the 2002 FIBA World Championships (the National Team of New Zealand). The national team hasn’t done so well in recent years.

5. Football:

New Zealand Football is the administrator of the game, which has changed its name in 2007 from “New Zealand Soccer.” Increasingly, news media and publications embrace the usage of the term football to refer to the sport.

Auckland City FC has been a record win in the OFC Champions League semi-professional competition on eight occasions: 2006, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. Nowadays, Navy Blues looks towards entering the A-League following Wellington Phoenix as the second New Zealand team.

Among young people, football is particularly popular. In 2017, 25,037 high school children played football, making it the 4th-largest sport of all behind netball, rugby, and basketball.

The first FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2008 and the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup were held by New Zealand in the year 1999.

6. Other Sports:

Other sports include shooting and archery, rock climbing, powerboat racing, boxing, beach volleyball, sport (track and ground), and Polo. Other sports are also widely played and enjoyed in New Zealand. 

Hence, this was the top five of New Zealand’s most popular games.